GA Dept. of Ag. Verification of Lawful Presence requirement & the green industry

Jennifer Davidson, ANR Agent, Muscogee County Extension, UGA

According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture website,

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is required by O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1 to verify citizenship/immigration status for all public benefits issued. All public benefits are defined in the law as certifications, licenses, registrations, state grant, etc. All new and renewal licenses are required to complete a notarized affidavit and provide one form of acceptable documentation as defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1. The department will implement this change online no later than July 1, 2013. As directed by law, GDA will utilize the Federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

So what does that mean to the average landscape company? In order to renew your contractor or applicator license, you must send in a copy of one of the approved documentation (usually a driver’s license) and a notarized affidavit (found online at http://agr.georgia.gov/verification-of-lawful-presence.aspx), along with the renewal forms and a check for contractor license or applicator license.

You may mail or fax your affidavit and a copy of your authorized documentation to our customer service center for upload. The Licensing Division fax number is 404-586-1126.

You can also upload the paperwork online (http://www.agr.georgia.gov/licensing.aspx). Click the online log-in tab.  Use the username and password provided on your renewal invoice.  You just have to have the capability of uploading documents.

Will we need to do this on a yearly basis?  No, luckily, documents will only need to be submitted one time. Companies will only have to resubmit when their respected ownership changes.

The folks at the Georgia Department of Agriculture are friendly and available if you need to call or have further questions (404-586-1411 or 855-4-AG-LICENSE (855-424-5423)). Also, contact your local Extension office if you need any other help (1-800-ASK-UGA).

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